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Across Australia, hundreds of children with serious medical conditions remain at home or in hospital, watching from the sidelines and missing school. MissingSchool is about helping bridge the educational and social needs of those kids and their siblings, who have special needs of their own, by working to keep them connected to their schools.

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Professionally Speaking

One-third of children with chronic illness will experience consequences severe enough to interfere with school functioning and performance (Kaffenberger, 2006). Issues may not be evident for some years … Regular education for [these] children is associated with better quality of life 10 years later (Armstrong, 2003)”. Barb Donnan, Educational & Developmental Psychologist, Ronald McDonald Learning Program.

…However, there is still a big gap in learning and that’s currently a problem. It’s not well catered for by the system.” Professor Glenn Marshall, Director of the Cancer Centre , Sydney Children’s Hospital (EdMed DVD, Ronald McDonald Learning Program).

Young people with chronic illness are at greater risk of social isolation owing to school absenteeism and lack of participation…together with educational disadvantage, [they may have]…difficulty getting jobs and achieving financial independence as adults.” Dr Rod McClymont, Paediatrician and Adolescent Physician, Bathurst Base Hospital, NSW.

Families should not have to put all this together for themselves. We need to have good collaborative processes ready and waiting from day of diagnosis.” Dr Suzanne Alder, Psychologist.